We've returned to the rec center and it's been loads of fun. The monitors are super nice, and A&N get to hang with the after school kids, some of whom we know from the past, some of whom are new friends. It's nice because rather than force the issue and set up playdates, which I loathe, the kids just get together and play, and friendships are forged. More like a neighborhood playground. Best of all, I'm am not even remotely involved, and the kids get to play on their own without their irritating dad there to complicate things.
Sure, I shovel the ice rink and break up the occasional scuffle, but for the most part, the kids are left to their own devices to interact, which I feel is an important part of growing up. I think as adults we place way too much faith in the idea that kids will work things out for themselves, because it usually ends up in disaster. Besides, this way of thinking has given parents the right to completely divorce themselves from their child's upbringing, making life that much easier for themselves. My point being, it's completely self serving and thus convenient. Kids need guidance and for adults to intervene when necessary. They are too young to have the wherewithal to completely work our their problems, that's what parents are for.
On the other hand, it's not good for parents to micromanage every aspect of their kids' lives. Somewhere there's a happy medium. Don't ask me what it is, I just know it exists. Also, I'm a bit incapable of completely disconnecting myself. When I see a scuffle and our kids are in the midst of it, there's just no way I can't at least investigate. Such is the life a neurotic, uber parent.
In the meantime, we're having fun in the afternoons. It's nice because the kids are all local, so they are in essence our neighbors and we'll run across them continually throughout the year. I have noticed that the crowds really thin out in the summer, so winter is a good time for playing over there.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Bert Brinkman for the pic.